What can employers do about Sexual Harassment in the rise of the Hybrid Working World?

With the rise of hybrid working environments, many small business owners are wondering how to handle inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. The key is to create a clear policy and communicate it effectively to everyone in the organization. Here’s what you need to know about creating a safe work environment for all employees, no matter where they are located.


What is harassment, and what is not?

Can texts and online chats be considered sexual harassment? Yes, inappropriate messages of any description can be considered sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition applies to any form of communication, including text messages, emails, or other forms of electronic communication.

Inappropriate text messages that contain sexual content, innuendos, or propositions can create a hostile or offensive work environment and can constitute sexual harassment. It’s important for employers to have a clear policy regarding electronic communication and to educate employees on what constitutes unacceptable behaviour, including inappropriate behaviour through electronic communication.

Employers have a responsibility to address any instances of unwanted sexual advances that are reported, regardless of whether they occur in person or through electronic communication. Failure to address sexual harassment can lead to serious consequences, including legal action and damage to a company’s reputation.


Here are six things that a business can do to create a safe working environment:

  • Develop a comprehensive sexual harassment policy

This policy should outline the definition of sexual harassment, the consequences of engaging in such behaviour, and the procedures for reporting and addressing harassment.

  • Provide training

All employees, including managers and supervisors, should receive training on what constitutes sexual harassment, how to prevent it, and how to respond if they witness or experience harassment.

  • Establish a reporting mechanism

Encourage employees to report any incidents of harassment by providing multiple avenues for reporting, such as through a supervisor, HR representative, or an anonymous hotline.

  • Investigate promptly and thoroughly

When an incident of harassment is reported, conduct a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation to determine what happened and what actions should be taken.

  • Take appropriate action

If harassment is found to have occurred, take appropriate disciplinary action against the offender, up to and including termination.

  • Monitor and review

Regularly assess the effectiveness of your sexual harassment prevention efforts and make any necessary changes. This includes monitoring the workplace to ensure that it remains free from harassment and reviewing and updating your policies and procedures as needed.


Sexual Harassment has unfortunately been part of our society since its inception but it doesn’t have to be part of yours! By establishing a clear policy against sexual harassment, enforcing it consistently across the board, and providing regular training sessions for your employees on how to recognize signs of this type of behaviour; you can ensure that your hybrid working environment remains healthy and safe for everyone involved! Don’t hesitate – to start protecting yourself from potential liabilities today!


If you need help with this very sensitive topic, then please do get in contact below.

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